If you’re scared of your emotions, you’re definitely not alone. The well of anger or sadness or fear inside can seem bottomless.
Meanwhile, social fears around these painful feelings create even bigger impenetrable walls, convincing us that pain is bad, only happiness is good, and if you allow yourself to feel these feelings, you’ll end up on suicide watch in the loony bin or at the very least, piss everyone around you off and become terminally unloveable. Which would suck because you may already feel terminally unloveable.
But you know that to heal these feelings, you must feel them. On the surface, that seems like a big conundrum. But it’s very common and very workable.
1. Cultivate self-love
One reason you might be scared of your emotions is because your fear this internal pain makes you flawed and unloveable. But painful emotions don’t make you flawed, they make you human.
To summon the courage to feel uncomfortable feelings, first work to love yourself, unconditionally. You may have placed requirements on your self-love, thinking you must be happy or skinny or rich to be lovable, but you are lovable right now, as you are.
You are lovable no matter how you feel, what you look like, or what you do in the world. Even deeper, you are made of pure love.
Cultivating self-love is a constant practice, but there’s one thing you can do right now to start the process. Look yourself in the mirror, in the eye, for one minute, and repeat the words, “I love you.” Repeat daily as needed.
2. Separate thought from emotion
Thoughts and emotions are frequently conflated, with people categorizing their thoughts as feelings and vice versa. Many teachers and pretty much all psychotherapists recommend starting with your thoughts and working to change them.
But thoughts only develop because of energetic blocks. All things begin as raw energy, including thoughts and emotions, and that’s why healing begins at the source, through dissolving energetic blocks with your awareness. Trying to change your thoughts without healing your energy is like slathering frosting on a burnt cake.
Our inner world becomes much easier to manage through dividing and conquering. I know that doesn’t seem very “spiritual,” but it works very well to remove the fear when you’re scared of your emotions. And if it works, then it’s good with me.
Managing thoughts >>>
From an emotional perspective, feelings can feel even scarier when they’re accompanied by the story. Thoughts like, “my life sucks,” “I hate myself,” “I’ll never amount to anything,” or “I don’t even know why I try,” make it difficult to feel the emotion in awareness. We get too caught up in the tall tales.
To alleviate this, I recommend journaling. Simply do a brain dumb and write everything that seems so monstrous down on paper. This often helps immediately, or at the very least, helps you work through thoughts in a more linear way.
Managing feelings >>>
To heal your emotions, I recommend the feeling awareness meditation that changed my life. Download an audio below. Meditating is the single most important thing you can do to manage your emotions.
When you start investigating feelings and see they’re not so scary after all, your confidence around your ability to manage emotions will soar. This confidence will help you be less scared of your emotions.
Overall, when you’re working to heal, begin cultivating awareness of the difference between thoughts and emotions. If you feel inner pain, feel the pain and label it as the emotion that it is. If your mind then moves to the story, notice the story, and label it as the story. Know that most of the thoughts you think are untrue, especially emotion-drunk thoughts. If you’re scared of your emotions, this approach will help reduce that fear, making those feelings easier to manage.
3. Use the breath as an anchor
You don’t need to fully investigate the source of every discomfort, and there’s a middle way between rolling around in your internal energy and burying it. That middle way is the anchor of the breath.
I’m not even referring to meditation, but just consciously breathing, wherever you are. If an uncomfortable emotion arises, and you’re not ready to dive into the source, simply focus on your breath. This will help calm your heart and your mind.
If your scared of your emotions, don’t force yourself to do things you’re not ready for. This is your journey. Move forward at your own pace.
If you’d like, consider taking a walk or doing some light yoga to move the energy around in your body, helping to dissipate any stagnant areas. But keep focusing on your breath and body, labeling any emotions for what they are and trusting that this, too shall pass.
4. Find healthy distractions
There’s nothing wrong with pouring yourself into a healthy activity. Just make sure it stays healthy and doesn’t become yet another compulsion. Things like exercise, listening to or playing music, walking in nature or creating art — these things will help you stop being scared of your emotions by allowing you to transcend them.
They’ll help you return to your body and heal through experiencing the body and the creative potential of the universe in a different way. So instead of binge watching Netflix or drinking a bottle of wine, try taking a walk in the park. It sounds simple, but sometimes the simplest things are the most powerful.
What do you do when you feel scared of your emotions? Share your story in the comments below.
Download the world’s most powerful meditation for emotional healing.
Most meditation techniques focus on the breath. This brings you into your body